Do you sit at home trying to find a creative outlet for your thoughts and feelings? You think about painting or drawing but then think, “I’m not an artist.” Or once you’re finished with a piece of artwork think, “it’s not good enough to show or enter into a contest.” Well you’re wrong. As someone who likes to paint but does not consider themselves an artist, I think we need to break through this mentality that keeps telling us beginners we are not good enough. Art is subjective- it is a form of expression that is purely creative. As beginning artists we just need to be nurtured and coaxed into realizing our creative potential.
First step in how to become an artist and show and sell your work is take a class locally (or non-locally if you want). The Parks and Recreation Dept. along with local art studios offer classes with well established artists in the area. Not only do they offer the classes but most of them will supply you with the materials for the first class in case you decide that it’s just not right for you. The great thing about taking a class locally also is that almost all local art studios have a student show once a year. This is a great chance to get your name out there and leads directly into step number two which is showing and selling your artwork. Your teacher will help mentor you through the process of what piece to pick, and if you would like to sell your work how to price it. This also gives you a chance to network with other local artists, get the feel for what it is like to be vulnerable and expose your artwork to the community. And the great thing about student shows is you do not have to organize or advertise the show. All the work is done for you.
Third step in becoming an artist and showing and selling your work is to become confident in your abilities and the artwork you produce. Self doubt is a natural characteristic of human nature. But not selling any of your artwork (unless you’re trying to make your living off being a professional artist) means very little. Van Gogh, the Dutch post-impressionist painter, only sold one piece of art during his entire lifetime, yet he is one of the most well known and respected artists in the world. As you begin this process remember the saying, “The only thing you live to regret is the risks you didn’t take” and put yourself out there and consider enrolling in one of the local classes below.
PONSHOP - Adult Mixed Media
Class Description: There is a misconception that if you can’t draw well, then you are not artistic. This workshop allows students of all skill levels to better the relationship between their creative mind, eyes, and hands using a variety of media including collage, acrylic paint, ink and more. All materials included. Class is held every Thursday beginning Feb. 9th – Feb. 23rd from 6:00 -7:30pm. Cost is $90.
PONSHOP – Adult Clay Class
Students will be introduced to a variety of hand-building techniques including coiling and slab, giving them the skills they need to create a finished ceramic piece. Students will also be introduced to basic glazing techniques by finishing all their work with one of PONSHOP’s glazes. Projects include both functional and sculptural ceramic pieces. All materials included. Classes are held every Monday, February 6th-Feb. 20th from 6:00-7:00pm. Cost is $90.
PONSHOP also offers Kid’s Clay Classes, Street Art Workshop and Kid’s Mixed Media in the months of February / March for children ages 9 and up.
PONSHOP will also be holding its Second Annual Student Art Show at its studio and gallery located at 712 Caroline Street. The opening reception will be held on Friday Feb. 3rd from 6-10 pm and the exhibit will run until Feb. 26th. Educating as many 98 students in 2011, the gallery will exhibit a cross section of paintings and ceramics completed by PONSHOP students over the past year. Student work will include all Adult and Youth Mixed Media and Ceramics, Intro to Street Art, Skate to Create, Adult Drawing, and Through an Architect’s Eyes workshops as well as many private sessions. The exhibit is a means of encouraging students to continue to participate in the city’s art community, allowing their work to take center stage. For more information about the Student Art Show, visit their website at www.ponshopstudio.com.
Relief and Print Making
Relief printing is the oldest form of printmaking. The most common form of relief printing is woodcut. An ink drawing is made on a wood block. The artist cuts away unlinked areas, leaving inked areas raised. Printing ink is applied to the raised surface and a sheet of paper is laid on the block to take an impression by hand or a press. Instructor will provide all materials and supplies.
Classes are held every Monday beginning Feb. 6th- Feb. 27th from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Dorothy Hart Community Center.
To register for the above classes and browse at other art classes, please visit Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation’s Online Activities Catalog.
LibertyTown Arts Workshop
LibertyTown Arts Workshop offers a number of revolving classes with local artists such as Neil Reed, Bill Harris, Elizabeth Seaver, Hsi-Mei Yates and more. Each class is different and information can be found on their website at www.libertytownarts.com. They also host an annual Student Art Show in January. This year’s show opened on First Friday Jan. 6th, 2012 and is still open for viewing, so stop by Liberty Town and get inspired to start today!
Have you been working on your art and just need a place to show it? Enter it in the Fredericksburg Fine Arts Exhibit!
The 61st Annual Fredericksburg Fine Arts Exhibit is being held this March 12-18th, at the Dorothy Hart Community Center. The exhibit features the work of local artists in a variety of different mediums that can win cash prizes for Best In Show, Most Popular, and 1st, 2nd & 3rd in each category along with two special awards.
Currently the show is accepting participants. Artists can enter up to four pieces of artwork in the following categories: Oil paints, Acrylic paints, Watercolor paints, Drawing, 3-D sculpture, Print Making & Digital Art, Novice, Collage & Mixed Media, and Pastels. Beginning artists can enter their work in the Novice category, specifically designed for artists with less than two years experience.
Click here for more information and to download the entry form.
As a beginning artist, I hope you will explore the variety of ways you can get started and remember, "A dream without a plan, is just a wish."